Tonight, the NYC Landmark Preservation Commission denied landmark status for the controversial building near the former site of the World Trade Center, which a Muslim group wants to use a cultural center. It clears the way for the developers to knock down the building for the new structure but this fight is going to go knocking and screaming for years to come in the courts. Why? Because the critics who now wave the American flag and the Constitution have selective memories and beliefs. When American freedoms suit their personal needs, they seek to uphold the Constitution; yet, when a group whose religious affiliation is the same as a bunch of lunatics who destroyed a symbol of American capitalism, well, then they wrap themselves in a holier than thou attitude and say “banish thee to hell.”
These critics of the center are just as ignorant as the people who flew planes into the World Trade Center. I refuse to call it “ground zero.” There was no nuclear explosion but what has followed is an explosion of emotions that has now reached a fever pitch to the point of rationale discussion being buried in the aftermath.
The proposed project is not just a mosque – in fact, it is more than just a prayer center for the Islamic community. It will be a cultural center and social gathering place. I have tried to educate the ignorant in previous articles but the message is falling on deaf ears by those who have chosen to stop listening.
Those who are so outraged……..those who wrap themselves in a “censored” version of the Bill of Rights as it suits their needs………those who pretend to be open-minded and instead now preach intolerance……..they are an embarrassment to the cornerstone of democracy in this country.
I ask you, did the first responders who ran into those buildings say “women and children first and anyone who’s Muslim you’re on your own?” No. Police, firefighters, those who defend our rights to live free, they tried to rescue anyone without requiring a religious visa for a passport to survival.
I have said it before and I will scream it from my the top of my liberal pulpit – I am an American and I believe each of us has a right to worship as we see fit. The critics are equally to blame for creating an atmosphere of hysteria, which can be likened to the Salem Witch Trials in this country. If we cannot explain something, is it our inherent right to destroy it? By doing so are we not then as loony as the idiots who went on a suicide mission on 9/11?
As this Westchester attorney has stated before, it is unlikely that the city would prevail in any effort to block this project with the RLUIPA statute in place. Yet, the battle cries being raised may create such a dangerous, vigilante mentality that I shudder to think what these loudmouths will do if the project is erected in let’s say 5 – 10 years………because that’s how long it’ll take the lawsuits to proceed through the judicial system. I pray to Jesus, Buddah and Allah that sanity reigns at some point and peace prevails in lower Manhattan.